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Review: the Tempelhof (British Airways) lounge at Berlin Brandenburg Airport

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This is our review of the Tempelhof lounge at Berlin Brandenburg Airport. It is the lounge used by British Airways and, amongst others, Aer Lingus and Air France.

It is also a DragonPass lounge but does NOT work with Priority Pass. DragonPass means that applicable Barclays and NatWest customers can enter. Priority Pass cardholders can get €23 of free credit at the Moevenpick Cafe – this includes cards issued by American Express, for once.

It is also possible to pay cash although you wouldn’t catch me paying the asking price of €48.

Review Tempelhof lounge at Berlin Brandenburg Airport

This was my first visit to Berlin Brandenburg Airport. It is four years since I was last in the city for the ITB travel show, and when I was there last year I travelled by train from Hamburg whilst my family were with my in-laws. (A bad decision in retrospect …. it was a Bank Holiday weekend, literally everything in Berlin was shut for two days and it rained constantly!)

I miss the quick 15 minutes taxi rides to and from the city that the old Tegel airport offered. Brandenburg is a long way from the centre, not helped by a confusing mix of local and suburban rail options. There is only one mainline train per hour from Friedrichstrasse, for example. Whilst Potsdamer Platz (outside my hotel) has U-Bahn, S-Bahn and national rail services, none of them seemed to go directly to the airport. Signage at the airport itself is spectacularly unhelpful in guiding you to the best rail option for your needs.

Review Tempelhof lounge at Berlin Brandenburg Airport

Finding the Tempelhof lounge

Berlin Brandenburg is U-shaped, with passengers entering into the departure area in the centre. Unfortunately, the Tempelhof lounge is at the far end of the top of the ‘U’ – you literally could not walk further.

The lounge is up a few flights of stairs, or you can take a lift.

The good news is that, as you leave the lounge, you can immediately go up a flight of stairs to the non-Schengen departure area. Boarding was relatively efficient from there although you are pretty low on facilities once you go through passport control.

Review Tempelhof lounge at Berlin Brandenburg Airport

Inside the Tempelhof lounge

One benefit of the lounge being on the prong of the ‘U’ is that you get good views over the runway as you can see above.

It’s a slightly confusing layout inside. The upside is that there is a range of seating, from:

Review Tempelhof lounge at Berlin Brandenburg Airport

to

Review Tempelhof lounge at Berlin Brandenburg Airport

to

Review Tempelhof lounge at Berlin Brandenburg Airport

to

Review Tempelhof lounge at Berlin Brandenburg Airport

…. and, for those who want to take it easy:

Review Tempelhof lounge at Berlin Brandenburg Airport

It was fairly busy in the lounge so I couldn’t get better photographs. The irony is that the airport itself was deserted. I walked past many totally empty cafes on my way to the lounge, and if I’d known how far I had to walk – and if I hadn’t given myself ample dwell time before my flight – I would have sat in one of those instead.

Food and drink

I’m in two minds about the F&B offering. There was certainly food available, and it is a better selection than you find in most independent airport lounges, but it didn’t get me too excited.

The hot food options were:

  • meatballs in pepper sauce with rice
  • beetroot sweet potato pan
  • celery soup with walnuts and tangerine

It didn’t do it for me but your tastes may vary. There was always Plan B, the not-hugely-appealing salad bar:

Review Tempelhof lounge at Berlin Brandenburg Airport

…. and Plan C, the pretzel wall:

Review Tempelhof lounge at Berlin Brandenburg Airport

The alcohol selection was decent. As well as a fridge of beer and soft drinks, there was a decent range of spirits (self pour):

Review Tempelhof lounge at Berlin Brandenburg Airport

…. and wine, albeit no champagne:

Review Tempelhof lounge at Berlin Brandenburg Airport

Conclusion

For a brand new airport, Berlin Brandenburg is underwhelming when it comes to lounges.

I’m not sure what the Lufthansa facilities are like, but as Berlin is not a Lufthansa hub I would be surprised if they were anything special. The failure to set up any sort of Priority Pass lounge is very odd. There is no shortage of underused space in the airport so things may change in the future.

For now, I certainly wouldn’t rush to the airport purely to give the Tempelhof lounge a try.


Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (February 2024)

Here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a UK credit card.

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.

You also get access to Eurostar, Lufthansa and Delta Air Lines lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.

American Express Business Platinum

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 9th April) and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Priority Pass card loaded with four free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here.

Additional lounge visits are charged at £24.  You get four more free visits for every year you keep the card.  

There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and you get a 20,000 points sign-up bonus.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free Priority Pass card, allowing you access to the Priority Pass network.  Guests are charged at £24 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.

The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer.  Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.

Comments (84)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • John says:

    I am sitting at Brandenburg airport when writing this, the movenpick cafe is good deal (23 euros) if you have priority pass and includes AMEX platinum. Given Tegel and old Schonefeld lounge were poor showing with over ripe bananas and limited poor food eating options for steep 25 euros is a big step up. Lufthansa lounge was shut last time and upgraded to first class lounge while rennnovation complete,found the whole place quite bland. I flown out of Berlin for last 15 years even Templehof just before closesd very sterile airport and take me 1hr to get here instead of 20mins from Tegel. transport connection is not amazing and often crowded trains and taxi will be north of 55 euros if looking for city centre. If you arrive after 10pm on weekend night never any alternative car share options,

  • Jonathan Beaumont says:

    I thought the old BA lounge at Tegel was very cosy compared with the new Brandenburg one which has absolutely no character what so ever. I remember sitting and looking at a window blind that was falling off and thinking this is supposed to be a new lounge.

  • Rob Chambers says:

    My daughter and I used this lounge last year, to be honest I quite liked the food option on our visit (goulash of some sort). The warm pretzels were good too.
    What was misleading was the notice board advising 20 mins to the gate, we took that at face value to find it took all of 5 minutes to exit the lounge and go through passport control ( it’s literally outside the lounge exit). As mentioned once through there it’s a space area with one vending machine.

    As for travel from the airport we found it pretty easy to get a train into Alexander platz where our hotel was, good price too compared to getting from London to Heathrow or Gatwick, €3each was a bargain. Europe does trains so much better than the UK

  • NFH says:

    When I saw the headline, I initially thought that Tempelhof airport had reopened! I last used Temelhof airport in 1998, flying on Sabena (Such A Bad Experience Never Again).

  • Ed says:

    Wasn’t Oneworld going to open its own lounges in a few destinations, with Berlin a mooted choice? I think this was a pre-pandemic plan however.

  • Leroy Pennant says:

    Berlin needs more than one airport .
    This new one is okay.
    But to get your flight.
    You have to walk like a wolf .
    The moving stairs occasionally work.
    And clear signs to get you around are few.
    Of course to get to the airport by train is a mess.
    Only one train a hour .
    Not much English heard to help you get to the city
    By train.
    Although there’s ample taxis( be prepared to fork out a bit there)
    The airport has the feeling of Work In Progress.
    And lacks the international flair.
    Maybe when all the technical bugs and personal organisation has been optimised.
    Then things could be better.
    From a rating of 1 to 10.
    I would give the airport at the moment a 5.

  • James Harper says:

    Ah yes, Brandenburg, the airport so bad it puts me off visiting one of my favourite cities and one of the worst things about the woeful train service is that there is no provision on board for luggage. On a busy service, it’s impossible.

  • Ian says:

    I’ve travelled to Berlin on a few occasions over the last few years for various reasons (it’s one of my favourite cities), and I actually quite like this lounge.
    Whilst I agree that it’s relatively characterless, I’ve managed to do work there for a couple of hours whilst drinking better than average drinks (they always seem to have a few reasonable Japanese whiskies, and beer on draft as well as bottled). The food is a mixed bag, although there is quite a range of snacks – including the sweets station that isn’t featured (it’s round the corner a bit) but was a hit with my 16 year old on our recent trip and the pretzels are ok.
    It’s never been super busy when I’ve been there, and whilst the airport lacks the charm of TXL (from which I experienced my first business class flight many moons ago and as such I still have very fond memories of), I find it perfectly reasonable. I now tend to stay near the Zoo and travel there on the trains is straightforward and there’s space below seats that fits medium sized luggage.
    Berlin is a great city, and whilst this isn’t a superb airport – it’s perfectly fine – and I’ve found it a reasonable and comfortable lounge.

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